BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp provides belated injury update on Nathaniel Clyne – and it’s not good news

Jurgen Klopp has provided a much-needed injury update on Liverpool’s long-term absentee Nathaniel Clyne, with the right-back still yet to return.

Clyne has been sidelined since the start of pre-season, after playing just 45 minutes in the Reds’ friendly clash with Tranmere Rovers.

Klopp has utilised Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold in his stead, with Clyne left out of Liverpool’s squad for the Champions League group stage in September.

But while the German has been forthright with the recoveries of Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane, speculation has mounted over Clyne’s spell out, with Klopp largely avoiding the issue.

However, questioned as to the 26-year-old’s recovery ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham, Klopp provided a frustrating insight into his injury.

“[It’s] not that good. He was on a good way, then a little setback. We are on it, that’s how back problems are,” he explained.

“The back is a really weak part of your body. We have to make him 100 percent ready. It’s not the best thing, especially not for him.

“We showed him to specialists all over the world. It’s not a big problem, it just needs time. That’s all.”

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Liverpool's substitutes Lazar Markovic, Pedro Chirivella and Nathaniel Clyne before a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Clyne has been a key player for the Reds since his £12.5 million move from Southampton in 2014, so his prolonged absence has been a bitter blow.

While both Gomez and Alexander-Arnold have impressed covering at right-back, the defensive solidity that their elder counterpart provides has been sorely missed.

It seems, however, that Clyne is likely to miss a considerable period beyond this stage, with no return date pencilled in.

Mane made his comeback to training on Thursday afternoon, while Lallana is expected to return to full training after the November international break.

Both could feature against their former club on November 18, when Liverpool entertain the Saints at Anfield, but Clyne is likely to be missing from the stands once again.

At least, it seems, the right-back is not sidelined with other issues as, previously, the ambiguity over his back problems suggesting there was more to his time out than met the eye.

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